The Dentist Magazine.

New online assessment for young patients

Published: 19/05/2017

Simplyhealth Professionals has announced a new personalised assessment for young patients which will be provided through its highly regarded Denplan PreViser Patient Assessment (DEPPA) application.

Young DEPPA (YDEPPA) brings the benefits of comprehensive online patient assessment to young patients and their parents or carers for the first time.

The primary benefit of YDEPPA, like its adult counterpart, is to support communication with young patients about their oral health. YDEPPA reports offer personalised biofeedback in a patient friendly manner. Dentists can access YDEPPA from the main menu of DEPPA by selecting ‘Young Patients’.

The reports use a traffic light colour-code system of red, amber and green to indicate what is going well and what the patient needs to improve on with the help of their dental care provider. Smiley symbols enhance the colour-code effect for young patients. The reports clearly indicate if any aspects of oral health should be of particular concern to patients and their parents or carers. Prevention advice tailored to the age of the patient forms the second page of the report.

A young patient DEPPA report (patients under 17 years of age) comprises two key scoring elements:

  • A composite score (YDEPPA score) out of 100 measures patient perception and current oral health status, including two risk factors for dental caries and one risk factor for dental erosion. There is no separate measurement or reporting of future disease risk in YDEPPA as, at the present time, the evidence base for future disease risk factors in young patients is not as developed as that for adults.
  • A summary of patient overall care needs (low, moderate or high) which may be helpful in fee category guidance in Denplan Plans for Children.


Henry Clover, director of dental policy at Simplyhealth Professionals, said, “There is evidence to support that personalised biofeedback, delivered using reports such as DEPPA for patients, is more likely to trigger the emotional response required in order that behaviour change can occur than traditional methods. The earlier that we can educate young patients on what they can do at home to support dental care plans, the better their oral health will be in the long term.”

On an individual patient basis YDEPPA supplies valuable guidance to inform the development of a care (treatment) plan. YDEPPA reports allow clinicians and patients to monitor the success of care plans over time.

YDEPPA is very quick to complete, comprising just 14 questions. Reports can be either printed in hard copy and given to patients, or e-mailed to them with consent.

YDEPPA protocols were developed using Adult DEPPA, the Oral Health Assessment (OHA) and The Oral Wellbeing Assessments (OWA) as the starting point. Both the OHA and the OWA were developed as part of Denplan Excel for Children. Stephen Fayle, a consultant in paediatric dentistry in Leeds, who guided the development of Denplan Excel for Children was a key adviser in the development of YDEPPA; as was Iain Chapple, professor of periodontology at the University of Birmingham; and Liz Chapple, managing director of DEPPA service provider, Oral Health Innovations.

Liz Chapple said, “This is a really exciting development as it is the first of its kind. YDEPPA is very simple to use, instantly producing a comprehensive assessment of a child’s oral health in an easy to understand format. If it achieves anything near the positive impact on behaviour that the adult version has achieved, its impact on prevention could be lifelong.”